with Melinda Rodriguez

Archive for April, 2013

Ancestor’s Whispers

Long ago, on the very land where I currently live, there were sacred people. I feel their spirit every time I look around and see a hawk soaring, a deer or coyote walk by and hear the sweet song of the birds and the wind through the pines. There wisdom still runs deep in the soil; it is etched in the very molecules of air I breathe. The ancestors speak to me through the language of nature.

b48990ec3c9be0df5cb65be3e76a614dThis ancestral wisdom is from people who had no technology and yet remained profoundly connected. They had no money and yet they lived richly. They had no cars and because of this their bodies were strong and fit. They had no kitchens or even gardens but they knew how to live off the food of the land and they ate well. They lived in community. They had healers amongst them who knew how to heal the whole person – body, mind and spirit. They needed no government, no police force, no military. But they had warriors amongst them who knew how to protect without extremes or needless killing. They honored women, they listened to them, followed their wisdom and always protected them. They honored each other; it was never “them” or “us” or “I’ but always WE.

This past Monday I felt an unexplainable sadness.  I kept experiencing an urge to cry, but I didn’t know why.  After some introspection I realized I was feeling the Earth Mama’s sadness.  It was Earth Day, but so what? What good is one day to honor her, only to go back to sleep and continue the abuse. All she wants is for her human babies to wake up! She beckons us to see through the illusion of being separate from her and to fully comprehend that our body and her body are one. What we do to her, we do to ourselves. What we do to ourselves, we do to her.

She doesn’t need adoration of her beauty. She asks us to adore our own beauty and the very temple we exist in while here. I am not just talking about nutrition but the whole being, body, mind and spirit.

When we truly honor ourselves we dissolve the notion of separation and then recognize the beauty of everything and everyone. This concept eliminates greed, a hunger for power, poverty and violence. And this is why Mama cries. We have yet to achieve this as a species. But every small step we take as individuals and as communities towards this awareness and self love is a giant step towards drying her tears and making her smile.

What we need now more than warriors are Earth Missionaries, Love Emissaries and Potential Visionaries. There will always be warriors, but these roles take extreme courage to walk our talk. It begins by awakening our own inner Shaman, our wilderness, for there lies the wisdom and courage to live authentically with Nature.  This essence is already an intrinsic part of who we are, it just needs to be nudged out of dormancy and nourished into a flourishing force that drives our actions.  This state of awakened wisdom is a blissful way of living.  And although it does not eliminate difficulty or adversity, it provides a strong foundation to transform life’s trials into triumphs.

The ancestors are my mentors. Part of my life’s mission is to be a bridge back to the red road, right mind, and the way of sacred, peaceful, healthy living while maintaining what is good about contemporary life. There is no one pathway to this wisdom, for we are all imbued with our own sacred uniqueness.  But this I do promise; when you connect with your rhythm a profound sense of clarity is unleashed.  Through the pulse of the Earth Mama’s heartbeat, we are eloquently guided to our purpose and reclaim our oneness with nature.

The journey back to the land of the ancestors is not backwards but one that gathers what we need to remember as we move forward. It is not a swift journey but it also need not be prolonged. Open your heart, listen with your soul and you too will know this wisdom. May it lead you to peace, wellness, and the magnificent wholeness that you are. Aho!

In Rhythm & Harmony,

Melinda

Ten Easy Ways To Detox – Healing From The Outside In

Part II

Last week we looked at five easy ways to clean up your exposure to toxic chemicals.  Although I want to keep this simple and easy, I cannot stress enough the impact this can have on your health; now, and in the future.  The reality of body burden is still being explored as more and more data shows up showing the effects that the accumulation of toxins and chemicals has on seemingly unrelated health issues, including inflammation, which is now being discovered as the root of most disease including cancer.

ImageOn a spiritual level, I am a huge advocate of returning to our wild nature and reconnecting with the natural world on a very deep level.  Nature is the way of the Shaman. In nature, we have all the wisdom.  Yet, modern cultures seem to be moving further and further away from all things natural and it is taking its toll on our wellness and wholeness, body, mind and spirit.  The closer we get to nature, the clearer we see the absurdity that is infiltrating our food and the products we use on a daily basis.  Although we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves with all that is wrong and how to right it at once, we can take small yet effective steps towards a more natural way of life that our human bodies and psyches are designed for.  One actionable change at a time we begin to improve our wellness.

I would like to briefly share a very intimate aspect of my own journey towards a more natural lifestyle in an effort to illustrate the ultimate outcome of detoxing our environment.  In my late thirties I began to have very difficult periods (sorry guys).  They weren’t painful, but very heavy.  It got to the point when I was 40 that I was flooding, which made it difficult to live life during those few days.  Then, after suffering a miscarriage at 41, I began to seriously explore the toxins in my environment (and my food, but that is a different topic).  After implementing the very changes I am suggesting, my periods returned to normal.  Again, my menstrual improvement also had to do with improving my diet even further and working with herbs that supported my efforts, but I know without a doubt that detoxing the products I use daily was half of the healing equation.

So, let’s dive in.  Here are five more easy ways to get the toxins out of your life.

  • Lotions & Moisturizers – We all want soft skin of course, but so many of the products on the market are pumped full of those nasty endocrine disrupting parabens along with other unsavory toxins.  Companies are beginning to wise up, and there are more products coming out now that are paraben free.  Check out ewg.org (Environmental Working Group) and see how your favorite moisturizer rates.  This is an outstanding resource for detoxing your products.  They rate products and provide suggestions.  Make it a bookmark in your browser.  A really great alternative for moisturizing is coconut oil.  I keep a jar in the shower and let the warm water run over it to melt it.  Then I use it as a shaving lotion and after the shower I put on my body while it is wet then pat dry.  It absorbs fairly quickly, so it isn’t greasy.  You can also get great recipes for homemade lotions at herbsandoilsworld.com.  In fact, like their FB page and you’ll get tons of fabulous suggestions for all kinds of household and beauty products.
  • Soaps & Body Wash – So often these products are full of sulfates, parabens and other sleazy chemicals.  Ditch them!  Again, herbsandoils.com has great suggestions on how to make your own if the budget is tight.  For a little extra dough Dr. Bronners Castile soaps are awesome!  That’s what I use, along with salt and sugar scrubs I make myself with salt or sugar, olive oil and essential oil for scent.  Easy peasy.  While you’re at it, ditch all the antibacterial soaps in the bathroom and at the kitchen sink and put a bar of Dr. Bronners, or your own homemade soap there instead.  The next item explains why.
  • Antibacterial ANYTHING – I knew a woman that used to purell her son’s hands constantly.  I would tell her not to do that, as it ruins the immune system.  Not only does the antibacterial kill the good bacteria that we need, but the chemical that makes it antibacterial is another hormone-altering endocrine disruptor.  My friends, we NEED bacteria.  Do you really think God/dess made a mistake with our biology rendering it useless and unable to deal with germs?  Please, please, please, for everyone’s health get rid of antibacterial anything.  Your immune system, if properly cared for naturally, can fend off harmful germs.  If something really freaks you out, and you can’t wash your hands with simple soap, use vodka or rubbing alcohol.  You can even carry around a small spray bottle of alcohol and tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial) and use that.  It also doubles as deodorant.  But use it sparingly, because despite what the commercials wants you to believe, germs are necessary and really unavoidable, so get over it.
  • Sunscreen – Intuitively, I’ve always believed that it is the products we put on our skin that cause skin cancer, not the sun.  Again, I just cannot comprehend how God/ddess made a mistake with our bodies and the sun.  Now it is finally coming out that I was right!  And ironically, sunscreen is one of the worst culprits of all.  And yet, the industry has you believing that without it, cancer is eminent.  Sunscreen drained $687 million from our pockets in 2010.  Hmmm.  Not to mention that vitamin D, which is best in its natural form – the sun, is now surfacing as a hugely important component to wellness.  Furthermore, sunscreen is another endocrine disruptor that can wreak havoc on your hormones.  So what do you do?  There are a few options that can be combined or used individually.

First, if you were able to tan at some point in your life, you have the appropriate pigment in your skin to “season” yourself.  Seasoning is short durations of full sun exposure to get your skin used to the sun and slowly build a tan that will protect against burning.  Start with 5 minutes, move to 10, then 20, then 30. I’ve also heard of fair-skinned people using this technique successfully.  Your diet and what you are putting on your body will impact this process, so be mindful.

We have to be sensible with our sun exposure.  Get in the shade if you’ve had enough!  Our ancestors knew to limit their sun exposure and rest during the hottest part of the day.

Extra protection for those that are not of fair-skin ancestry is coconut oil.  I know it seems counterintuitive, but it works.  However, it does not protect the skin for long periods of sun exposure; it is simply extra protection for every day use.

IF you are going to be in the sun for long periods of time, sunscreen may be your only option.  Check with the EWG website (www.ewg.org) and get their recommendation on sunscreens with the least toxic impact.

  • Plastic – One of the most troubling endocrine disruptors is a common ingredient in plastic called bisphenol A, often referred to as BPA.  It is found in the bottles of water, plastic drinking containers, the lining of most food and beverage cans (including soda) plastic food storage containers, toys and more.  BPA is also in printer ink, newspapers and carbonless receipts.  BPA leaches onto our skin and into our water and food when exposed to it, and heat exacerbates the leaching.  Yes, it’s pretty much everywhere.  But don’t get overwhelmed.  Remember, one step at a time.  Start with switching from bottled water to filtered water.  Reverse osmosis is recommended as a superior system.  Then move on to replacing plastic food storage to glass. And, make sure all your water containers are BPA free or metal.  Lastly, when you purchase something and get a receipt, ask for it to be thrown away.

ImageAgain, I want to emphasize the importance of not getting weighed down with all of this.  I haven’t even mentioned the full spectrum of chemicals in so many products.  For example, shampoos, conditioners, hairspray and a wealth of beauty products are unfortunately choc full of toxins.  Some hard core naturalists have started a “no poo” movement, which omits the use of shampoo completely.  There are less toxic varieties on the market, some quite affordable.  I have tried a slew and they just don’t work with my thin, fine hair.  So, my hair products I’m not giving up.  I’m a Diva after all.  But I make sacrifices in other areas to at least dramatically reduce the toxins I’m exposed too.  If you’re committed to reducing your toxic exposure, you will find harmony in what works for you and your family.

Once more, here are the resources you will want to pin to your browser’s bookmarks bar to help you detox:  www.ewg.org (environmental working group) www.herbsandoilsworld.com (find them on FB too) and www.mercola.com.  Dr. Mercola is a world renowned alternative physician and has a wealth of information on his site.

I would love to hear about your journey in going natural and reducing toxic exposure.

In Rhythm & Harmony,

Melinda

Ten Easy Ways To Detox – Healing From The Outside In

Part I

debc44e105e3777dae4c2130a8ea1128I know we’ve all heard so much about diet, organic food, GMO’s and such and how to detox our diet and heal from the inside out.  I’m all about a healthy diet and continue to stay informed on the latest research.  There is no denying that fresh, organic, whole foods are best; whether that be paleo based (with non factory farmed meat), vegetarian based or vegan based. We all have different blood types, ancestry and DNA that determines what foods we thrive on and we all have to do our own research, trial and error to figure out what is best for us as individuals.

However, we can eat all the healthy food we want; if we don’t clean out the toxins we are putting ON our body, near our body and breathing, what good is the right diet?  Sometimes detoxing and healing DOES happen from the outside in.  Did you know your skin is the largest organ of your entire body?  More importantly, what you put on it, and what you breathe go directly into the bloodstream without the benefit of filtration from digestion.  The whole notion of “for external use only” is such an alarming contradiction and should be seriously considered.  In other words, if you can’t eat it, it shouldn’t go ON (or near) your body, because it will end up IN your body.

From a spiritual perspective, to awaken the wild wisdom that is our truth and unleash our inner Shaman’s dream into our every day life, we have to go back to nature.  Nature holds the key to our wellness, not only from an emotional and mental metaphor, but also in physical form.  Our wise inner shaman cannot thrive in a toxin-laden environment.  In order to flourish we must be willing to take even the tiniest of steps towards clearing out what holds us back.  For now, our food, water, and the air we breathe are being threatened.  But we can make a difference; we still own our personal power.

What is of additional concern is body burden.  We all have different levels of sensitivity, emotionally, mentally, and physically.  Many children are being born today with their poor little bodies already so chemically sensitive.  Then there are those of us that grew up on Lysol, bleach and Windex and all kinds of things we consider toxic today, and we are fine.  But at some point, those toxins build up.  It may or may not build up to a point of disease for you, but it may have already impacted your children before you were even aware it could.  And the truth is, just because you are healthy now, does not ensure you will always be.  If we continue with the onslaught of chemicals everywhere, it will take its toll.  In fact, much of the suffering that happens from illness or health issues is connected to body burden – the build up of chemical toxicity in the body.  One example is the suffering some women experience at menopause.  This need not be a time of discomfort if our endocrine system is well supported.  But the very chemicals I propose everyone begin to take notice of and weed out of their environment are the very perpetrators known as “endocrine disruptors.”

Hormone imbalance is a huge issue with many Western women today.  The problem is, many of us are uninformed on how the hormonal system in our bodies works.  And unfortunately, our doctors are not always straightforward with the info.  We are all familiar with the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and such.  And there seems to be a huge focus on only getting these into balance.  But the whole body is connected and designed to work congruently and in fact, there are other, more influential hormones that regulate those sex hormones that we need to be equally, if not more considerate of.  It is the entire endocrine system as a whole that requires harmony for us to be healthy and feel good and produce all the right levels of hormones.  Therefore, endocrine disruptors are no joke and something we need to recognize and remove from our environment.

Our lives have become so incredibly busy that whatever is quick, easy and familiar is what is often most desired.  And this is where the danger lies, because most of the time, whatever is quick, easy and familiar is also toxic and harmful.  I get it.  We are all busy.  But the decisions we make now about our health and the health of our family directly affect the health of our future.  If we want a lifetime free of disease and health issues we have to get our priorities straight.  But I have good news!  The changes I propose are not only easy and non time consuming, but usually less expensive than what is quick, easy and familiar.

Now, I don’t want to overwhelm you.  If this is all new, I know how overwhelming it can be.  So we are going to take it slow and easy – baby steps.  Therefore, I’m dividing this article into two.  This is part one and part II will be out next Wednesday.  That way you have some time to digest it all and maybe begin to incorporate some of the changes into your life.  Hey, it’s only five!  So here is the first five of my list of the top ten easy changes you can make to detox your environment.  And the best news of all…none of it requires colonics (yikes!) or going on some master cleanse and denying yourself the joy of eating.  If you’re into those things, that’s cool, but I prefer a more nurturing approach to healing.  And, you might save a few bucks in the process!

1.  Deodorant – Oh how toxic this little social norm is!  Aluminum, which is linked to breast cancer, is one of the main concerns with deodorant, but there is so much more.  It is a toxic cocktail full of endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and carcinogens (parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colors, among others).  Now, the purpose of this article is not so much to describe WHY these chemicals are so toxic.  Much of this info is widely known and can be easily researched.  I will provide some resources and links in part II of this article, which will be out next Wednesday.  My goal is to provide you with alternatives.

There are many “natural” deodorants on the market today.  You have to read labels though; some aren’t as natural as they tout.  Frankly, I’ve tried many and wasn’t impressed.  For a while I used plain baking soda.  I just dusted it under my arms with a makeup brush.  It worked well but then I began noticing a red rash.  It didn’t hurt, but wasn’t very attractive.  But that was just me.  Many swear by baking soda.  Then I tried cornstarch.  Well, it helped to keep me dry, but did nothing for odor.  There are a slew of recipes on the internet to make your own deodorant, but it involves melting down products.  Maybe at some point I’ll dive further into that, but I have found an easier solution.

Somewhere I read about using plain old rubbing alcohol.  Eesh, I shave my pits every day and that sounded painful.  But, I tried it.  I use a spray bottle full of alcohol and essential oils in place of Lysol, so I sprayed a little on my hand first then wiped it under my arm.  There was maybe a slight sting at first, very slight.  Then when it dries I dab a little cornstarch.  Dang if it doesn’t work!

Now, I need to be straight up honest here, it only works for the day.  And, if you’re a stinky gal or guy, you might need to reapply during the day.  No big deal though.  Anyone can carry a little spray bottle full of alcohol around and reapply.  By the next morning, especially after my run, it’s bum status here.  And I have to wash my workout clothes more often for sure.  But it is all worth it to avoid chemicals.

Also, if you sweat a lot, it doesn’t keep you from sweating completely.  It just kills the stinky germs.  Sweating is good though and why the heck are we plugging up the glands that detox our body?

  1. Toothpaste – Another chemical laden hygiene product.  The most dangerous of all, fluoride.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists fluoride among about 100 chemicals for which there is “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”  It is in our water and other products, so avoiding toothpaste as one way at least that helps reduce exposure.  There are natural, fluoride free toothpastes on the market.  Sometimes I use Tom’s when I get lazy.  But I also make my own by warming up a little coconut oil so it’s liquid (just run it under warm water with the cap on) and then in a little jar I mix the coconut oil with baking soda and peppermint essential oil.  I also rinse with hydrogen peroxide before each brushing for whiteness.  You might need to play with the portions of each until you get a consistency you like.  I like it real gritty, with lots of peppermint.  The combination doesn’t need to be refrigerated or anything, just keep it where you would keep your toothpaste.  It lasts weeks.  If making your own products is totally new to you, the texture and taste might take a little getting used to.  We are so conditioned by commercial products.  But your body will thank you with a long life of good health.
  1. Air Freshener – We live in a culture obsessed with smelling good.  While no one likes bad odors, fake, chemical laden smells are actually toxic!  A 2007 study by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) found a variety of harmful chemicals in air fresheners including formaldehyde and phthalates, which are connected to developmental and reproductive problems.  A fantastic alternative is essential oils with water in a spray bottle.  Pick your favorite ones.  I like lemon and eucalyptus.  Depending on the size of your spray bottle and how much water you use, you can simply pour several drops of your favorite essential oil into the bottle filled with warm water, which helps activate the oils, then spray!  You don’t need to warm up the water each time you spray.  So ditch that Fabreeze and Lysol!
  1. Household Cleaners – If toothpaste, deodorant, and air fresheners are full of chemicals, imagine the level of toxins in what you are using to clean with!  Seriously, just look at the warnings.  If you have to call poison control from exposure to your household cleaner how can it be safe?  Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose.  Some cause acute or immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns while others are associated with chronic or long term effects such as cancer.  I have always been sensitive to chemicals, especially in cleaners and switched to plain white vinegar many years ago after getting sick every time I cleaned.  Did you know that white vinegar is a natural antibacterial?  Studies have shown that vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and 80 percent of germs (viruses) according to the Heinz Company.  In fact, you can clean your entire home with three natural ingredients – Vinegar, Peroxide and Baking Soda!  You can mix them or use them separately.  Peroxide and Baking Soda are great in the laundry for whitening.  They clean tile grout, toilets, even carpets, and so much more.  Between these three super powers I was able to get red wine out of white carpet.  And let me assure you, the vinegar smell does not linger.  After a few minutes the smell of vinegar dissipates.  If it is really bothersome, you can always dilute the vinegar in water and add some essential oils for scent.
  1. Fabric Softener – Here we go again with our obsession with things smelling good…artificially!  Fabric Softener is a major endocrine disruptor and contains a wealth of other dangerous chemicals that are linked to upper respiratory problems and even cancer.  Ditch it and all the health problems that go along with it and switch to white vinegar!  Yes, vinegar to the rescue again.  Put it in the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine and it will wonderfully soften your clothes as well as ad some extra cleaning power.  I also pour it directly into the wash.  And again, no, your clothes won’t smell like vinegar.  It dissipates.  If you want to add scent to your clothes, dab a little essential oil on a wash cloth and toss it in the dryer.

04fd7ce762b6183eb7758a6d1fe869f0Do you know how much I pay for vinegar?  I get a gallon jug with each shopping trip for about two bucks.  That gallon of vinegar cleans my house (great on windows by the way), my laundry, disinfects and I even use it as a weed killer.  Now compare that to the cost of all the products consumers buy for all the jobs I give to vinegar.  Quite the savings, not just economically but on my health and the healthy of my family and pets.

One last word on endocrine disruptors, also known as xenohormones…they destroy your reproductive system!  Your reproductive system is not just for making babies; it affects your overall health.  A slew of female reproductive disorders including difficult periods, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, PCOS and infertility have all been linked to endocrine disrupting xenohormones.  There is study after study from a variety of reputable sources linking the toxic chemicals in the above mentioned items to endocrine disruptors that are wreaking havoc on the endocrine system from the Pituitary gland to the Adrenals and Thyroid.  Don’t take my word for it, one little Google search will reveal a wealth of information.

Change doesn’t happen over night.  The first step is awareness.  Then, make small moves towards detoxing your environment.  Connect with other people who are on the same path and support each other.  You know the old saying, “cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  I interpret that to mean that when we are on a quest for spiritual awareness and creating a pathway of wisdom that creates harmony in our lives, we can’t ignore the body.  The cleaner our bodies (from toxins), the more enjoyable our lives are and the more capable we are of living our purpose.

Stay tuned next week for the next five items that can be easily switched along with some valuable resources to help you stay in the know.  For now, let it sink in and ponder

The Dream

I have been on an incredible journey of learning and teaching in the fields of Spirituality, Healing and Personal Growth for well over a decade.  A few years into this journey I began drumming and fell passionately in love with rhythm and the transformational healing power that drumming played in my life personally.  Just at the point where I was beginning to connect the dots and formulating the awareness that somehow rhythm was an important component to what I was teaching others – I had an incredible, visceral, unforgettable dream one evening.  I was in the habit of recording my dreams first thing in the morning before they left my memory, and this is what I recorded: 

As I approached what appeared to be an ancient, adobe type structure, I could hear the deep, primal beat of drums coming from within.  As I entered, I felt a sensation of coming home, as if I was so familiar, and so comfortable with this space, yet I couldn’t recall being there before.  I embraced the adventure and wandered through this sacred place, listening to the sacred rhythms and feeling so connected to Spirit.  There were several rooms within this building, but the rooms were surrounded by only three walls instead of four.  Where the fourth wall would be was an open space into the outdoors.  The rooms contained a wealth of beautiful Indigenous artifacts.  There were colorful baskets, frame drums, pipes, shields, masks, blankets and feathered fans carefully placed on walls, shelves and the floor all throughout each room.  It was a visual feast that took time to take in and savor.  I slowly made my way from room to room in ceremony to the beat of the drum, honoring the beauty of each item I witnessed.  As I approached one room, I could hear chanting of some sort.  It was not a language I understood, yet it had that same familiar feeling.  I entered the room, and there was a group of Indigenous Elders of various ethnicities sitting in a circle.  They deliberately did not acknowledge my presence even though I knew that they knew I was there.  One of the Elders, an African man, looked up at me, and with his eyes only, invited me to sit in the empty space next to him.  I took a seat within this sacred circle and the next thing I knew, I was chanting with the Elders.  Although I did not cognitively understand what I was chanting, I seemed to know how to sing and pronounce the sounds.  I could still hear the drums in the distance, and the chanting integrated and synchronized with the rhythm.

After sitting and chanting with this council of sacred beings, the gentleman that invited me to be seated got up and left the circle.  I looked up at him as he was exiting the room and he looked back at me with those same inviting eyes, indicating that I should accompany him, so I did.  We walked down a hallway where there were more artifacts hanging on the wall.  We seemed to be getting closer to the drums.  As we neared the sounds of sacred rhythm, I could also hear a didgeridoo being played with the drums.  The African Elder and I walked in silence as we approached the music.  My entire being was filled with healing rhythm.  In an open, outdoor garden space, in the center of this ancient adobe building, there were dozens of people, from all different cultural backgrounds, all making music together.  Some where playing various types of drums, some were playing different instruments; others where dancing, some where chanting, one person was playing the didgeridoo, but everyone was participating.  The Elder looked over at me and finally spoke.  He said “You must make music.  Everyone must make music to heal.  You must bring the music to the people; be the bridge from the ancient cultures to contemporary societies and teach the people to make music.  Then, the people will heal their body and mind, and the body and mind of the Great Mother.”  He continued to speak to me about the power of rhythm and sacred ritual and the need for people to return to community.  I awakened from this dream, retaining every memory of every moment.  My journey towards my purpose was unveiled.   

I have never forgotten that dream.  It has fueled my continued connection to rhythm and the importance of rhythm and drumming in my work.  At the time of this dream, I was just learning about drumming in various forms and with several different types of drums such as the Native American frame drum, the West African Djembe, and the Middle Eastern Dumbek.  I was taking classes, going to drum circles and eventually went on to lead my own drum circles.  Soon thereafter I was invited to work with Drum Café which uses African drumming as a medium for corporate team building.  In addition to my spiritual teaching, healing and consulting, I’ve been working with Drum Cafe now for over eight years, with over 300 gigs under my belt, watching audience after audience, person after person have their own profound experience and awakening through the miracles of the drum.

My work in both the spiritual realm and the team building realm has evolved continuously and continues to grow and morph as the world shifts and changes.  Even though they are separate areas of work for me, they are extraordinarily connected and sewn together through the common thread of primal needs that every human has encoded within their DNA.  I incorporate rhythm and ritual into my spiritual teachings and I weave subtle, spiritual, universal truths into the corporate team building.  At the root of it all is the synchronization of body and soul, which is so vitally important to enlightened evolution on this planet.  I have heeded the task that was given to me by that Elder, and will continue to do so for as long as I breathe.  The beauty of it all is that I deeply enjoy all of the work I do.

Do you know what your purpose is?  Have there been defining moments in your life that have made your pathway of wisdom abundantly clear?  If you’re not sure, take some time to look deep within.  I know Spirit has positioned clues upon your journey; the question is, are you paying attention?

In Rhythm & Harmony,

Melinda

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